Welcome to the Stateside Dispatch, Progressive States Network's weekly newsletter! Here is the latest on the news and developments worth knowing.
Spotlight On Progressive Leaders
California Assemblymember Tom Ammiano
On October 5 , as Americans took to the streets to rally for Congressional action on immigration reform with citizenship, Californians saw the Trust Act signed into law in order to rein in record deportations from the state under the federal Secure Communities program. Assemblymember Ammiano, the bill's top sponsor, said he hopes state actions like California's will put more pressure on Congress to act.
Ohio Representatives Dan Ramos, John Rogers & Nickie Antonio
With the federal government shutdown dragging on, Reps. Ramos, Rogers, and Antonio have introduced legislation to authorize the state to temporarily fund the Women, Infant and Children program (WIC), if necessary. WIC serves over 260,000 women and children in Ohio. Read more here .
Legislators Across the States
As Bloomberg News noted , the public's demand for Obamacare is "overwhelming." In response to that demand and the need for guidance during the six month Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period, lawmakers across the country are sponsoring town halls to get the word out. Among them were Pennsylvania Rep. Jordan Harris , Florida Reps. Mia Jones and Reggie Fullwood , Michigan Rep. Dian Slavens , Georgia Sen. Donzella James and Rep. Karen Bennett , and Indiana Rep. Charlie Brown . (Did you also hold an outreach event with your constituents? Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org !)
Don't Miss It
PSN's invite-only Legislative Leadership Retreat, to be held from October 23th to October 26th in Washington, D.C., is only two weeks away! If you are a state legislator, please make sure to stay tuned for more information about finalizing your travel plans and the 2013 Retreat agenda details.
Special Focus on Public Education
As we look ahead to the Special Summit on Public Education during the 2013 Legislative Leadership Retreat, Progressive States is unveiling a series of state stories coming out of the events organized during the National Week of Action . In collaboration with parents, teachers, and advocates, PSN lawmakers across the states sponsored these events, with Pennsylvania , Michigan , Wisconsin , Rhode Island , and Georgia highlighted so far. Expect more stories to come as we count down to the Education Summit -- all reflecting the theme "Committed To All Children."
Pulse Of The Community
Immigration. On October 5, advocates, community leaders, and ordinary citizens in more than 180 cities rallied in the streets and held vigils , calling on their representatives in Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The events led up to an October 8 finale in Washington, DC, where supporters gathered on the National Mall to press the issue with Congress and send a message: get immigration reform done and get it done now.
Texas. The nation's eyes are on Texas, where State Senator Wendy Davis has announced her run for Governor. In the same state, which has the highest uninsured rate in the country, the broader legislative opposition to the Medicaid expansion called for by the Affordable Care Act continues to play out . Coverage for many of the 6 million uninsured Texans is at stake in the showdown there.
Medicaid. In a high-profile piece on red states' resistance to expanding their Medicaid programs, the New York Times reported that eight million Americans are left "impoverished, uninsured and ineligible for help" as a result. The ensuing discussions and similar media coverage are sparking renewed interest among advocates in efforts to achieve Medicaid expansions in the remaining states, such as Gov. John Kasich's proposal for Ohio not to leave the federal money on the table.
The Next Citizens United, But Worse. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the McCutcheon campaign finance case , which has been called "another Citizens United, but worse." Numerous public interest groups and think tanks have filed amici briefs to the case, such as Demos and the Constitutional Accountability Center . Experts fear that a flawed, sweeping ruling could jeopardize the anti-corruption laws enacted at the state level.
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